#36 Gung Fu
Gung fu translated means: discipline and training toward the mastery of some skill. It is applied to martial arts but it can be applied to anything. Ultimately, Gung fu is a pathway toward mastery and a deeper understanding of yourself and life.
Yin Yang is the basic structure of Gung fu. This is expressed with the Law of Harmony: “One should be in harmony within and not rebellion against the strength and force of opposition.”
“When an opponent used strength, you must not resist him with strength, instead yield with softness, lead him in the direction of his own force. When your opponent’s strength goes to the extreme, the strength will change to weakness, and at that unguarded moment there is an opening.”
“The law of harmony thus fits in with the law of non-interference with nature, which teaches a Gung fu man to forget himself and follow his opponent. He does not move ahead but responds. So the basic idea is to defeat the opponent by yielding to him and using his own strength against him.”
“No-mindedness is not a blank mind that excludes emotions, nor is it simply a calm or quiet mind. It is the “non-graspiness” of the mind that constitutes the principle of no-mindedness. A Gung fu man employs his mind as a mirror, it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing, it receives but does not keep.”
“Concentration in Gung fu does not have the usual sense of restricting the attention to a single sense object. It is simply a quiet awareness of whatever happens to be here and now. The mind is present everywhere because it is nowhere attached to any particular object and it can remain present because even when relating to this or that it does not cling to it.”
If you have such artistry and mastery then in you are in the flow. “The flow of thought, is like water filling a pond which is always ready to flow off again. It can work its inexhaustible power because it is free and it can be open to everything because it is empty.”
“The world is full of people who are determined to be somebody or to give trouble. They want to get ahead to stand out. Such ambition has no use for a Gung fu man, who rejects all forms of self-assertiveness and competition. One who stands on tip-toe cannot stand still for long.” The attainment of self-mastery or connectedness is grown through the daily practice of life. We can all be artists of our own lives, through our discipline, practice, and training at being a human being, you can gain freedom and transformation.
“Gung fu is so extraordinary because it is nothing at all special. It is simply the direct expression of one’s feeling, with the minimum of lines and energy. Every movement is of itself without the artificiality with which we tend to complicate them.”
“There are three stages in the cultivation of Gung fu: the primitive stage, the stage of art, and the stage of artlessness.”
“Remember that man created method and method did not create man. You yourself are expressing the technique, you’re not doing or following the technique.”
This is the moment when we can start feeling insecure because many of us just want to follow the steps to do something “right,” but this can cause you to give up the true learning process.
Gung fu is anything you practice with effort, discipline, harmony, and humility, towards mastery.
“The heart is humble, but the work is forceful.”
“True mastery stems from mastery of oneself. The ability developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.”
“The best soldiers are not warlike. The best fighters do not lose their temper. The greatest conquerors are those who overcome their enemies without strife. The greatest directors of men are those who spread peace to others.”
What is your Gung fu? What is it that you are actively working on mastering? It doesn’t have to be a physical skill, it’s a skill that is natural to you and should excite you and bring you joy.
If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
This week our #AAHA is Korean-American filmmaker and actor Justin Chon. He just premiered his film Gook at Sundance. It’s a film about living through the LA riots in the 90’s and his family’s experience owning a market that was looted. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the riots and Justin wanted to create a film about the Korean American experience during that time. About half of all the damage caused by the LA riots were to Korean businesses. The police weren’t coming to help them so the shop owners had to defend the stores themselves. Justin raised money through Kickstarter, and actually raised double what he asked, which showed him that people really wanted this story told. We think it’s great that you’re creating your own projects, Justin--you’re awesome!
This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Matthew R.:
“Very similar to you I was 3 years old when my father died and my dad was 31 when he passed. My first memory is being told of my dads death. He was a firefighter and died on duty. He rescued 2 kids from a raging river but was unable to get out himself. I suffer from PTSD, OCD, & Social Anxiety from the trauma of hearing of his death and other traumas I experienced in my life. I have always been a fan of your dad and his outlook on life. I recently started listening to the podcast and love it. It is very therapeutic for me. A quote, and the story behind it, of his that has recently made a big impact on my life is, "When life gives you obstacles you must summon the courage and walk on!" I just purchased the "Walk On!" zip hoodie with the thought of carrying his words with me as I go. I'm sure you are overwhelmed with emails and other work but I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the podcast, making your personal story known, and for continuing your fathers work of positively impacting others lives. Again, thank you for unknowingly being a part of my journey towards healing. Many blessings to you and "Walk On!" Sincerely, Matthew R.”